Why I Want To Be More Like Neal Caffrey

Did my title catch your attention? 😉

No, I do not want to be a master criminal helping out the FBI in exchange for serving my prison sentence in a mansion in Manhattan.  Although some of the cases they solve seem pretty exciting.  And he looks pretty darn good in a fedora.

Seriously. Yowsa.

But rewatching White Collar this last weekend gave me a little more perspective on the show and the characters now that I wasn’t just watching being distracted by the excitement and the pretty (see above photo in case you forgot).

Yes Neal makes mistakes and sometimes those come back to haunt him, but in the end he (almost) always does what’s right.  He adheres to a clear set of morals many other criminals on the show ignore.  What appeals to me the most right now is the way he lives in the moment.  He makes plans for the future, but he doesn’t let it get in the way of embracing what he has and making the best of any situation.  He values his friends above all else, and even his crimes are his own attempt to create a comfortable life where he can fully enjoy being with the people he loves.

I need a little bit more of that in my own life.  I’m constantly looking forward and trying to make plans.  They don’t always pan out, which leads to me making even more plans.  My goal right now is to live a little more in the here and now.  I have a lot of great people in my life that I enjoy spending time with.  I don’t always take the time to let them know that and I should.  I have a good life and need to live it to the fullest.  As Jonathan Larson would say, No day but today.

Jones: What does “having it all” mean to Neal Caffrey?
Caffrey: Never having to worry about money. Um, doing something that’s meaningful, being surrounded by people I care about and respect, you know. That’s pretty much the dream.
Jones: Screw you.
Caffrey: Screw me?
Jones: Screw you. You’re already living the dream.

White Collar, “As You Were”

Insert Something Witty Here

I wish I could say I had something interesting and meaningful for this blog entry, but really I just want you to look at the pretty header I made 🙂

Yesterday I had a marathon of the second season of White Collar and then watched the top Super Bowl commercials on YouTube.  I am clearly a devoted football fan when the 49ers aren’t involved (/sarcasm).  I did actually get a lot of things done this weekend, so I’m feeling more productive in my life overall.  I’ve started waking up earlier without setting an alarm.  Is it possible I’m becoming a morning person?  What madness is this?

This productivity is important so I can pay for the Giants tickets I bought last week.  As of now I’m seeing the Phillies, Padres, Reds, and Brewers in the 2012 season.  Can it be baseball time now?

Now it’s advice time.  I’m not giving any, but I need some.  I woke up with a Charley horse last Thursday night, and my leg still hurts five days later to the point where I start limping if I walk for more than a few minutes.  Is this normal?  What are your home remedies for muscle soreness?

And now I leave you with a preview of tomorrow’s Glee.  I’ve always loved Ricky Martin 🙂

Hold Fast To Dreams

The other night I downloaded the free first episode preview of the new NBC show Smash off iTunes and watched it in bed on my iPad (how spoiled am I?).  For those of you who have by some miracle avoided the endless promotion for the show and don’t know what it is, here’s a brief summary.  It’s a fictional drama about the production of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, following all the characters through both the creative process and their personal lives off stage.  It includes song covers and original songs.

I promise I won’t go off track in this post and rant about Katharine McPhee losing to Taylor Hicks on American Idol (seriously?).

The whole episode got me thinking about when I was a little kid and was convinced I was going to become a rock star after I got my degree in biology.  I never really got to the point where I started thinking about how that was going to work because I wasn’t blessed with any of the talent that was needed to go with it.  I’m still sad that I was born before the onset of autotune.  There is a distinct lack of songs in the industry today about the days between Monday and Friday.  My rock star moments will forever be confined to the car and Rock Band.

But this train of thought lead me down two paths.  Just think about how many talented people there are out there fighting for this dream of being on Broadway or being a rock star and just haven’t gotten the chance?  That’s why shows like American Idol work after so many years.  So many people just need to be given an opportunity.

The other path was about dreams.  I may have passed on the rock fantasy, despite my killer rendition of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” on Rock Band 3 last week, but I still have dreams that I’m going after.  I’m now pursuing a career path in molecular archaeology because I’ve always loved science and history, so why can’t I do both together?  If you enjoy your job, are passionate about it, and make enough money to survive, I think that’s a far better living environment than working a job you hate with a big paycheck.  Of course I say that as I live rent free in my childhood home with my parents.  But my other dream of moving out into my own place is moving along more quickly 🙂

Then there’s my writing.  It’s definitely my main creative outlet.  You should see the countless computer files and scraps of paper and journals I have filled with bits and pieces of stories.  I’m one of those nerds who keeps a notebook and a pen in her purse at all times in case inspiration hits.  If I had been willing to take poetry units I would have qualified for SCU’s creative writing minor.  And I finally have a first draft of what I hope I can polish and edit enough to become my first complete novel thanks to the 2011 NaNoWriMo competition.  Being a novelist is my more fantastical dream, and I think everyone needs to have that one dream they need to reach a little harder for.  Life would be boring if all our dreams were easy to achieve.  In addition, dreams grounded in creativity help distract you from the depressing parts of your life and help you to channel and work through those negative emotions.  They also help you embrace your high points.

Dreams of any kind keep us going and pursuing life to the fullest.  What are your dreams?  What keeps you motivated through the day?

Stock image by jaz1111.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes

Who’s Got It Better Than Us? Nobody!

Okay, fannish things out of the way first before super fun survey time.

I was totally excited for Supernatural to win Best TV Drama and Best Sci Fi/Fantasy Show at the People’s Choice Awards.  But then I found out the boys didn’t even get invited to the awards show so I didn’t bother watching.  Last Friday’s episode turned me into a giant ball of squee though.  Jason Dohring guest starred as a god of time while Nick Lea (Krycek from X-Files!) played Eliot Ness.  Yes, that Eliot Ness.  And he was a hunter!  I pretty much spent the entire hour flailing around in happiness.

This Saturday was a massive weekend of football.  The last few minutes of the 49ers game nearly gave me a heart attack, but it made me feel less lame for liking Alex Smith all these years.  And Vernon Davis sobbing on the sidelines with joy would melt even the coldest hearts. The game was amazing, and after that I got to watch Tim Tebow get knocked around so hard his sternum separated from his rib cage and busted a lung.  I don’t know how I was able to watch that entire game.  As a friend said, it was like watching someone club a baby seal as abandoned penguin babies cried on the sidelines.

Sunday I helped run an open house in Redwood City, then went home where the finale of Sherlock pretty much left me an emotional wreck.  I knew what was going to happen, but the way it all went down pretty much gave me emotional whiplash.  I caught myself watching with my mouth hanging open several times.  I don’t know how many times my mom and I have rewatched the ending trying to figure out how he did it (I’m not posting spoilers here, haha).  If I actually have to wait 18 months for the next series again I’m going to have a fit.

Survey time commence now:

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?

I usually sleep in as late as I possibly can before going out for lunch and some lite shopping with my mom.  Then we go home and I get into comfy clothes, settling in with a movie or my Kindle.  I tend to leave Friday night for friends and Saturday for family, but if I’m feeling spontaneous I switch it up 😉

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.

  • Supernatural – I got into it for the pretty boys and stayed for the awesomeHow many shows on television have killed off all their main characters, brought them back to life, and had a season finale centered around stopping the apocalypse?
  • Doctor Who – I can’t be a nerd and not watch this.  Time traveling alien in a British police box that’s bigger on the inside?  Who wouldn’t want to watch that?
  • Sherlock – I really wish there were more than three episodes a year, but it’s so good I had to put it on the list.  If I wasn’t still obsessing over the finale it would have been a harder choice between this and White Collar.  Plus I like saying Benedict Cumberbatch’s name.

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?

Take them, definitely.  Otherwise all those photography classes in college were a waste.  Now I’m starting to think I should buy a nice camera and not use my iPhone all the time.

4) Why do you blog?

Mainly because it’s fun and sometimes a way for me to get my babbling out without annoying people 😉  Seriously though, I’ve enjoyed the friendships and communities I’ve built through blogging in the past and hope for the same on WordPress.  It helps me use my artsy side too and gets me thinking about my life.

5) Share five websites that you visit regularly…

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Hypable
  • Wikipedia

Wow I’m boring.

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be?

Only one?  Are the rest being sent to a desert island?  Lol.  I think I’m going to leave this one blank, just because I’ve always been one of those people who can’t pick who her best friend is.  Then again Buster Posey just joined Twitter…

7) List a few of your favorite snacks.

  • Hot cheetoes
  • Chips and ranch dip
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Berries

Yes those are chocolate covered potato chips. Don't judge me.

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?

Nope.  I just take my neighbor’s dog when I’m having puppy withdrawal 😛

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?

  • my iPad
  • my iPod
  • my iPhone

Might as well keep this question Apple themed 😉

10) What’s your favorite drink?

Tea!  I drink around two to three cups a day of Earl Grey.

I drink so much tea my mom got me this for Christmas.

11) Do you enjoy cooking?

It depends.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I’m tired.

12) Do you have children?

No no no no no no no.  That’s a ways off still.

13) What are your favorite hobbies?

  • reading
  • listening to music
  • sports (mainly baseball and hockey)
  • television/movies
  • hanging out with friends and family

14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?

I used to be super shy, and I still am sometimes but I think I became a lot more outgoing in college.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

My nose.

Just kidding.  I think probably to be a bit more spontaneous in my day to day life.

16) Who is your favorite actor/actress?

I have so many!  At the moment I guess I’m pretty into Andrew Garfield, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch.  I like my Brits.

17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?

I worked all week.  I finally started putting together the massive collage for my room.  I guess that was pretty cool.

18) Do you live near your family or far from them?

I live with my parents still.  Stupid recession.

19) List three of your talents.

  • I think my empathy makes me a good listener
  • I hope I’ve become a decent writer.  I’m in the process of editing the first draft of my novel right now.
  • I can wiggle my ears 😛

20) What is your greatest attribute?

Probably that I’m generally a caring person, and I like to make those around me happy.

 

I’m Not on Pacific Time, I’m on Tebow Time

I’ve had this post collecting in bits and pieces over the past week, so I guess it’s finally time to actually get it on the Internet.

I was able to wean myself off technology somewhat at the end of last week, avoiding my phone and laptop outside of work.  Then the week came to an end and my willpower went with it.  I have been very successful at cutting Facebook games out of my life.  It’s been very nice going out to lunch with the family and not wondering how my cafe or whatever is doing 😛

I tried Soon’s Tofu and Korean BBQ with my mom, aunt, and uncle for the first time.  It was delicious!  It’s where the old Chipotle used to be, so the interior still very much has the Chipotle vibe.  But the tofu stew was so good.  I’m happy we finally have one of these places so close to home.  I highly recommend it.  Actually I could go for some right about now.  I just don’t know how I’ll feel about it when the warmer weather hits.

Sunday was pretty much football day.  We busted out the chips and dip and settled in to watch the Broncos and Steelers.  Even though Mr. Quinn didn’t get to play, it was pretty fun watching Tebow Time in full swing.  It was by far the best game I’ve seen him play since he was drafted by Denver.  Was anyone expecting those throws going into the game?  It’s always enjoyable seeing nice people do well and succeed.  In addition, yowza.

After Demaryius Thomas scored that overtime touchdown (which I didn’t realize was a game ender for a few seconds), it was finally time to watch the new Sherlock!  I think it might be one of the best shows on television today, and it is definitely the smartest.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s a show on the “BBC” written by the creators of the new Doctor Who that puts Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson in modern day London.  Everything is updated, with Dr. Watson writing a blog instead of sending dispatches to Strand Magazine and Sherlock sending texts on his smartphone instead of telegrams.  This most recent episode was a modern day take on The Hound of the Baskervilles.  I think it was my favorite episode so far.  Seriously, I know I’ve said this before but watch it!

I’ve had a few other nerd freak outs this week, between production beginning on the Star Trek sequel this week and this Friday’s episode of Supernatural featuring Eliot Ness (Nicholas Lea!) as a hunter in 1944.  We also finally purchased a fancy new wireless printer that I spent a few hours freaking out about.  I’ll save you from further geekiness after my Sherlock rambling.

Now I’m learning about building leads for work.  Wish me luck.

Brainy’s the new sexy

You ever have one of those days that you want to keep going on and on because it’s that awesome.  I’m having a mini one of those.  It’s a great feeling.  I’ve had a lot of great conversations with friends and family that just made me smile like a goof.  I’ve felt like a complete nerd the entire day.  It makes me happy 🙂

I got the good news at work I’ve been hoping for and my responsibilities will be expanding.  It’ll give me a little more variety in my day, so I’m pretty excited about that and the opportunity to get out of the office more.  I put the finishing touches on the official page for one of our upcoming properties using the new Cyberlink program I got for Christmas.  It was fun and productive at the same time, which is always good, and the boss enjoyed the free music I used.

Beyond that it seems like  a lot of little things have been falling into place.  I finally got to download the Rock Band Track Pack I’ve been waiting for.  Kinda lame, I know, but I’m excited to have Cobra Starship on my Playstation 🙂

I also found out that the new series of Sherlock had started airing in the UK.  I of course downloaded it immediately and watched it with my momma.  This first episode is based on “A Scandal In Bohemia.”  It was a great adaptation.  Steven Moffat did a great job pulling details from the original story and modernizing it.  Lara Pulver was great as Irene Adler, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were brilliant as Holmes and Watson as usual.  The entire episode had suspense and humor running together the entire way.  If you haven’t seen Sherlock yet I highly recommend it.  For extra nerd appeal, both men are going to be in the upcoming Hobbit movies (with Freeman in the title role) and Cumberbatch was just cast in the Star Trek sequel.

Beyond all this I’ve become thoroughly addicted to the new Jason Mraz song.  I’ve been pretty obsessed with the man’s music for about a decade now and this song just enforces it.  It’s such a beautifully simple love song with his wonderful vocals.  You could definitely imagine it in the trailer for a Nicholas Sparks movie 😛  It will touch you if you’re in love, and if you’re not it will make you wish you were.  It’s everything I want in a song.  Give it a listen and you won’t regret it.

I am ending this wonderfully touching day by watching the San Jose Sharks battle the Anaheim Ducks into the ground.  Because apparently a day isn’t complete for me without a little competition and violence.  I’m not sure what that says about me.

TGIF – Final 2011 Edition

It’s the last Friday of 2011! It was of course an extremely overcast gloomy day. I’m always torn because I love sweater weather but love the sun. Now I’m home where all the Christmas decorations are slowly coming down.

Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? 😦

Tomorrow I’m going to dinner and a movie with a few friends. Very calm and relaxing and the perfect way to ring in the New Year. I’m hoping the New Year will bring some fun and exciting changes before I turn a quarter century old. Yikes! I’ve already started researching certain things that will hopefully come to pass 😉

Here’s my last mix of the year. It’s part my top songs of the year and part the songs I’m just getting into. Enjoy!

These covers feature brushes by AnnFrost.

And to conclude this very musical post, two of my favorite 2011 medleys/mashups: